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Investigating the Impact of a Musical Intervention on Preschool Children’s Executive Function

Bowmer, A; MASON, K; Knight, J; Welch, G; (2018) Investigating the Impact of a Musical Intervention on Preschool Children’s Executive Function. Frontiers in Psychology , 9 , Article 2389. 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02389. Green open access

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Abstract

The impact of music interventions on the cognitive skills of young children has become the focus of a growing number of research studies in recent years. This study investigated the effect of weekly musicianship training on the executive function abilities of 3-to-4-year-old children at a London, United Kingdom preschool, using a two-phase experimental design. In Phase 1, 14 children (Group A) took part in eight weekly musicianship classes, provided by a specialist music teacher, while 25 children (Groups B and C combined) engaged in nursery free play. Results of this Phase showed Group A to have improved on two measures relating to planning and inhibition skills. During Phase 2, Group A continued with music classes, while Group B began music classes for the first time and Group C took part in an art intervention. Repeated measures ANOVA found no significant difference in performance improvement between the three participant groups during phase 2; however, the performance difference between groups was nearing significance for the peg tapping task (p = 0.06). The findings from this study contribute to current debates about the potential cognitive benefit of musical interventions, including important issues regarding intervention duration, experimental design, target age groups, executive function testing, and task novelty.

Type: Article
Title: Investigating the Impact of a Musical Intervention on Preschool Children’s Executive Function
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02389
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02389
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © authors. Frontiers is fully compliant with open access mandates, by publishing its articles under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY). Funder mandates such as those by the Wellcome Trust (UK), National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Australian Research Council (Australia) are fully compatible with publishing in Frontiers. Authors retain copyright of their work and can deposit their publication in any repository. The work can be freely shared and adapted provided that appropriate credit is given and any changes specified.
Keywords: executive function, music, preschool, intervention, assessment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064706
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